12-09-2011, 10:24 AM
Oddly, that has rarely been a feature of my OCD. Last night I was alarmed that I might catch it from the table or the door handle, not communal desserts. Lady Friend got the door (giving me The Look as always) and I put my hands down flat on the table without thinking before jerking away faster than the germs could pounce. Communal desserts? Didn't even think about it.
Originally Posted by DJY
12-09-2011, 10:35 AM
Oops..not having any OCD myself I don't know the rules....I hope I didn't just add to the list of triggers....sorry
Originally Posted by Gay Panda
12-09-2011, 12:41 PM
Oh, no, you didn't add to the triggers, DJY! As a cub they were much more variable, but as an adult, they hold pretty constant.
Originally Posted by DJY
12-09-2011, 02:37 PM
PART ONE: Young Gay Panda never made modest New Year’s resolutions.
Every time December rolled around, I decided that THIS upcoming year would be the year in which I was perfect. My grades would be an unbroken stream of sharp-edged A-pluses. I’d never say anything stupid or unkind; my manners would be gracious and my thoughts free of pettiness; no more time would be whiled away in idleness. The Perpetually Sticky Panda Siblings would not be able to break me down to screaming no matter the level to which they stooped in hygienic offense, and maybe if I could be perfect enough, the Perpetually Arguing Panda Parents would stop their take-no-prisoners war.
I would never make another mistake in music. I would have a book published. I would skip a grade. I would master my latent magical talents at last, dammit! Oh! And I would not swear. I would not even think swear words. After all, you can only change the world by first changing yourself, and I’m sure whoever came up with that affirmation never dreamed that there was a cub out there taking it literally. If I could make myself perfect, my life would become perfect, and all would be well.
Of course, mere hours into January 1st, I’d thought the F word, fought with a sibling, failed AGAIN to become psychic, and played video games instead of expanding my mind with great literature. Within a week, I’d said something dumb in class, made mistakes in math and music, and the war between the Panda Parents raged on regardless of anything I did either good or bad. Despite all my failures, by the next December I was making a list of resolutions again. This year . . . well, press repeat.
As an adult, I whittled down my list to what I thought were more attainable goals. The most prevalent was to lose weight. I’d steel myself and step on the scale, observe the number in despair and write it down, and then let myself get swept away by the magic of January 1st. The New Year is possibility, and that number would surely reduce in reliable two-pound chunks a week with calorie restriction and exercise! So I did these things, and some weight came off but never in reliable two-pound chunks, and then the semi-starvation caught up. By the next New Year’s I was on the scale again, observing the number in despair and writing it down, and getting swept away (although with less conviction each time) by the magic of January 1st.
The New Year is right around the corner, and 2012 might be the first year in which I do not resolve to lose weight, but I do anyway, and without trying very hard. I will just keep on eating the way I have been for months, and hopefully my body will respond by dribbling away more of its excess poundage. A resolution is choosing to do (or not do) something, and for me there is always condemnation there, right under the surface waiting to burst through at the first sign of failure. But this isn’t a moral issue any longer.
PART TWO TOMORROW, as Gay Panda has happily been ignoring A: the laundry; B: the dishes; C: showering; D: vacuuming; and E: broiling chuck steak; because goofing around online listening to Last Friday Night and writing and playing video games is so much more rewarding and pleasurable than A-E.
12-09-2011, 08:48 PM
Dear Grandpa Simpson,
No, we do not want to play Guess Your Medical Problem at dinner.
12-10-2011, 07:59 AM
Oh, no worries! I just wish I knew something that could help! Cortisol is mysterious to me but I try to avoid things I feel would raise my blood pressure (even metaphorically) and get good sleep (it's always better than it used to be but not often enough perfect). Best wishes and best of luck.
Originally Posted by Gay Panda
"If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman
beachrat's new primal journal
12-10-2011, 08:37 AM
PART TWO: Last year, I was miserable in my body. I wore my elastic band athletic pants all the time because my jeans were too tight and I could not face the fact that my weight had climbed up yet again. I wore them around the house. I wore them on my errands. I felt foolish at Whole Foods, but in those athletic pants, I could avoid the feeling of failure, the hopelessness, the realization that I had to buy bigger jeans. People might throw me the bone hey, that panda in line is pretty fat, but athletic pants mean that fat panda is trying to do something about it. When social events occurred, I turned them down because I could not attend in my elastic band athletic pants. I hid in my house.
Gay Panda was never any good at accepting a larger body. But you can’t live this way indefinitely; either you accept that it is you and make peace with it, or you go crazy feeling divorced from your own flesh. On New Year’s 2011, I couldn’t even stand on the scale. What was the point in a resolution? What exactly was I going to choose to do (or not do)? I drink one 12-ounce soda every two months. I rarely drink alcohol. I go to the candy store 2-3 times a year, where I buy one marshmallow chocolate bar, one little bag of Reese’s Pieces, and one little bag of cinnamon bears. I don’t go to fast food joints at all. A 5’9” panda can’t live on 1200 calories and run relentless 5Ks. So what was there to resolve?
I was out of options for a resolution that would affect my weight, yet accepting it felt like defeat. I didn’t want to spend another year engaged in fruitless warfare, bringing Nerf arrows to a battle in which the opposing side has Uzis. But at the same time, I can’t stand being so heavy. I spent January 1st feeling decimated between two equally unappealing choices. I went to fat acceptance websites and looked at pictures of cheerful fat people who accept themselves, and I wanted to scream. I tolerate this body because I’m stuck in it, and I want to wear a T-shirt that informs people I do not really look like this. So on the road to acceptance, I never made it very far.
It’s funny that I have no more resolutions for my weight in 2012 than I did in 2011, but for completely different reasons. Last year, it was out of despair. This year, it is out of knowledge. Hunger cannot be overpowered by will; this is a physiological fact of the flesh that I mixed up with emotional control. I will never win the battle on hunger, no more than I would win a battle with cyanide. The difference is that no one would expect me to win the latter, but most people think that we’ve had a moral failing if we can’t win the former. But we won’t win, and yet flagellate ourselves for thinking our Nerf arrow is as powerful as an Uzi.
Fighting the need for food is like fighting the need for oxygen, and putting it in those terms allows me to see the silliness of it. Both are the battles of a lunatic, and while Gay Panda is admittedly a very strange flower in the world’s rose garden, Gay Panda would never be found insane in a court of law. My resolution cannot be to ignore my hunger pangs, in the hopes that doing so for long enough will render me an average-sized panda. I’ve tried. It won’t. My body does not allow this to happen.
PART THREE SUNDAY: As Gay Panda has errands, and will NOT be performing them in elastic band athletic pants for two reasons.
1. I bought jeans that fit. Smaller jeans.
2. My elastic band athletic pants are far too big on me now.
Last edited by Gay Panda; 12-10-2011 at 08:45 AM.
12-10-2011, 08:58 PM
Originally Posted by dickzark
12-11-2011, 11:04 AM
PART THREE: Finding the strength to starve myself was essentially one of my resolutions every year. But this is ridiculous. How can I feel badly when I fail? Do I feel badly when I run out of breath underwater? That isn’t a failing of willpower, or a sign of slothful character. I am not a glutton for air. It is not an emotional issue or a moral one, and I can’t imagine what a therapist would make of a weeping panda on the sofa, devastated that I could not hold out for more than thirty seconds in the pool. What does this say about me? I disgust myself! My self-esteem drowning itself in the can because I can’t hold my breath any longer is as mad as bashing myself for being hungry.
It also isn’t a moral issue what I’m eating. Starch and sugar make me feel like hell. On celebratory occasions, it’s worth the physiological dismay and backlash. Otherwise, I’d prefer not to feel that way. Certain foods have certain properties that give a quick high. I can eat them if I want, but I will feel gross later and have horrible cravings that last for days. Reframing this as a health issue instead of a failure of self is one I’m still working on. But choosing to only eat desserts at birthday dinners is more common sense than a resolution; limiting potatoes is the same. I know what’s going to happen, and it’s going to be ugly. I don’t resolve to not tease bulls for the adrenaline high of the flight either. To make it punitive with a failed resolution if I ingest sugar or starch is to introduce an emotional/moral component to a much more complicated issue.
Stating as a resolution I WILL NEVER EAT SUGAR OR STARCH IN 2012 seems almost as strange as I WILL EAT 1000 CALORIES A DAY NO MATTER HOW FAMISHED I BECOME. Also ridiculous is I WILL WEIGH 166 POUNDS BY THE END OF THE YEAR. This is yet another Nerf/Uzi battle I am destined to lose, because I do not control what my body does with the food I put in it. I give it the tools, but my body has to do the work. I can’t put on a hardhat and tinker about my cells making improvements.
I would love to become a normal weight this year. But I can’t resolve to do this. Crossing the finish line is not under my control. I am only my body’s coach, not its director. My vision may not be its vision. So I can cheer or moan on the sidelines, but I can’t run the race for it. Here is the food; do what you will. Please diminish. Believing that I have failed if it can’t just isn’t fair to me. I didn’t fail. This isn’t a test in school, in which I showed up unprepared. If I can’t make it, it’s because my body couldn’t do the work. It is not a reflection upon myself, and it doesn’t render 2012 a wash. That is when I will have to make peace with my body somehow, when it can do no more.
You don’t kick your third- or fifth- or tenth-place finisher in the seat of the pants for not being first. I did what I could and my body did what it could, and then I have to let it go. But it is miles easier to think about making peace with 184.2, in which I just look a little round, than 231, in which I look horrific. I don’t feel so huge and yet so invisible any longer. I lost some of that wax coating I once had, where eyes slipped off me like I wasn’t even there. I look okay. Not great, but okay. And that is so much more than I had a year ago.
So I find myself this December creating no weight-loss related resolutions for the New Year. I can’t choose to starve myself. I’ll limit the foods that make me feel like hell like I’ve been doing all along, because that’s sensible. And I don’t choose to become 166 pounds of panda. I hope. There is a difference that I didn’t appreciate before, because I believed that calorie deficit = weight loss, and that I was just deficient in the matter of willpower. But that’s not true. For 2012, I’ll continue to input what makes my body feel good, and limit what makes it feel like hell, and hope that one day all the extra panda will be gone.
This is so very different from the despair of last year in my elastic band athletic pants, and all of the years before coming up with calorie counts and brutal exercise regimes. I don’t know what to do with myself, not spending December coming up with ways to improve my body in January. So, hello, approaching New Year! You are going to be the first one ever that I have not begun on a very torturous note: trying to achieve the perfect impossible in my persona, my weight, my intelligence, and my magical powers. 2012, you are going to be interesting.
12-11-2011, 03:29 PM
Just YES to all of the above; this really clicks with me. 'Specially:
Certain foods have certain properties that give a quick high. I can eat them if I want, but I will feel gross later and have horrible cravings that last for days. Reframing this as a health issue instead of a failure of self is one Iím still working on.
I would love to become a normal weight this year. But I canít resolve to do this. Crossing the finish line is not under my control. I am only my bodyís coach, not its director.
This is so very different from the despair of last year in my elastic band athletic pants, and all of the years before coming up with calorie counts and brutal exercise regimes. I donít know what to do with myself, not spending December coming up with ways to improve my body in January. So, hello, approaching New Year! You are going to be the first one ever that I have not begun on a very torturous note: trying to achieve the perfect impossible in my persona, my weight, my intelligence, and my magical powers. 2012, you are going to be interesting.
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.